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David was a very loyal guy. When he became the king, he still took care to think about people and care for them.
One day David asked, “Is there anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If there is, I want to show kindness to them for the sake of Jonathan, my dearest friend and brother who I promised to love.”
After asking around a bit, someone answered, “Hey! One of Jonathan’s sons is still alive, Mephibosheth — but he’s crippled in both feet, so he can’t walk.” (When Mephibosheth had been five years old, the lady taking care of him heard about Saul and Jonathan being killed in battle and she got scared and scooped up Mephibosheth to try to run away with him. But, she accidentally dropped him and it hurt his legs so bad that he couldn’t ever walk again.)
King David sent someone to go get Mephibosheth and bring him to the palace.
“Are you Mephibosheth?” the king asked.
“Yes, at your service,” Mephibosheth answered.
David said to him, “Don’t be afraid. I’m going to show you all sorts of love and kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan whom I loved so dearly. All the land and stuff that Saul ever owned — I’m going to give it to you. And besides that, I would love to have you sit and eat with me at my table very often.”
Mephibosheth’s mouth dropped open in surprise. “Me?” he thought. “I am part of the family of King Saul. Saul jealously chased David around trying to kill him, and then others in my family fought with David’s men to try to keep David from being king after Saul. Why would David invite me to eat at his table?”
“Uh, my king,” Mephibosheth said as he bowed low to the ground, “who am I that you should speak to me so kindly? I’m worth less than a dead dog.”
But David called to one of Saul’s old servants and said, “Give all of Saul’s land to Mephibosheth. Plus I want you and your sons and servants to take care of the land and plant and harvest the crops. Then give it all to Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth will eat at my very own table — just like one of my own sons.”
“Yes, sir!” the servant answered the king.
So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem near David, and ate with the king at his table almost every day! Even though he couldn’t walk, he would be carried to the king’s table, and dine as if he were a prince — just like one of the king’s sons!
How do you think David would have felt if Mephibosheth had felt sorry for himself and moped around saying, “I don’t think I’ll go. I’m not good enough to eat at the king’s table. Look at my feet, they’re all crippled and broken. I can’t sit with the king; he’s too good for me.”
Or what if he had gone to eat with the king, but had cried the whole time, “I’m not good enough to be here.”
That would have broken David’s heart! It was a gift and a very, very special honor for David to invite Mephibosheth to his table. It wasn’t something Mephibosheth earned. It was grace — that means undeserved kindness.
Or what if instead of crying or feeling sorry for himself, Mephibosheth had thought he was a big shot. “I get to eat at the king’s table. I’m big stuff.” Or, “Hey King David, can you scoot over? I’d like a turn sitting in the best seat at the table.”
Oooooo-oooo… That would be SO yucky, wouldn’t it?
But the happy news is… Mephibosheth did not respond any of those yucky ways. Instead, he allowed himself to be carried to the king’s table, with the heart of a humble, loyal, and grateful servant. And because of that, he became like one of the king’s very own sons. He accepted the gift of grace the king offered to him, with humility and deep gratitude.
I hope you’ve been listening through these stories to find all the ways where David’s heart was lined up with God’s heart. We’ll be talking about some of them soon, but for now, I’ll point this one out to you. What David did for Mephibosheth is what God does for us! God is searching, searching, searching for people to help and rescue. And even when we are weak and crippled from sin, ashamed or alone from our bad choices, He STILL wants to pick us up and invite us to draw near to Him. And if we soften our hearts and come to Him with obedience and humility like Mephibosheth did with David, God carries us to His table where a magnificent feast is ready to be enjoyed.